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Facebook reaches settlement with US regulators on privacy issues

November 30, 2011 - Washington

Facebook has agreed to get users' approval before changing the way it shares their data as part of a settlement with US regulators.

The Federal Trade Commission said Facebook, which has 800 million users, would now tighten consent rules on privacy, and close access to deleted accounts in 30 days or less, the BBC reports.

According to FTC, Facebook did not admit guilt and was not fined, but it was barred from "making any further deceptive privacy claims" and will undergo regular checks on privacy practices.

"The proposed settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to make sure it lives up to its promises," the FTC said in a statement.

"That includes giving consumers clear and prominent notice and obtaining consumers' express consent before their information is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established," it added.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said in a blog post that the social network had addressed many of the FTC's concerns already.

"We're making a clear and formal long-term commitment to do the things we've always tried to do and planned to keep doing - giving you tools to control who can see your information and then making sure only those people you intend can see it," he added.

The settlement follows a similar agreement in March between the FTC and Google over the web search firm's own social network, Buzz.

Last year, the FTC settled with Twitter, after the agency alleged that the service had failed to safeguard users' personal information.


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